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Contemporary Social Work Practice Helen Cahalane Editor Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare Practice Contemporary Social Work Practice Series Editor Christina E Newhill For further volumes: Helen Cahalane Editor Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare Practice Editor Helen Cahalane Child Welfare Education and Research Programs School of Social Work University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA, USA ISBN 978-1-4614-8626-8 ISBN 978-1-4614-8627-5 (eBook) DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-8627-5 Springer New York Heidelberg Dordrecht London Library of Congress Control Number: 2013953256 © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013 This work is subject to copyright All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed Exempted from this legal reservation are brief excerpts in connection with reviews or scholarly analysis or material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work Duplication of this publication or parts thereof is permitted only under the provisions of the Copyright Law of the Publisher’s location, in its current version, and permission for use must always be obtained from Springer Permissions for use may be obtained through RightsLink at the Copyright Clearance Center Violations are liable to prosecution under the respective Copyright Law The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use While the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication, neither the authors nor the editors nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein Printed on acid-free paper Springer is part of Springer Science+Business Media ( Preface Child welfare is the oldest specialization within social work practice and the only specialty area in which social work is the host profession Following the creation of agencies devoted to child protective services across the country, the recognition of battered child syndrome, and the initiation of state and federal mandatory child abuse and neglect reporting laws, child welfare entered into a period beginning in the 1970s where the need to provide child protection required a workforce greater than the number of social work practitioners with a specialization in child welfare services High personnel vacancy and turnover rates, less-than-desirable educational levels of staff, court determinations of inadequate service, and a dearth of evidence-based practice models have contributed to the challenges experienced in the child welfare system At the same time, the need to educate child welfare professionals has been acknowledged for several decades Increased recognition has been given to the provision of services that result in measurable outcomes There is also increasing demand for the implementation of practice models that are driven by evidence and for child welfare policies and practices to be informed by, and responsive to, the youth and families who are served by the child protection system The recognition of organizational factors in influencing child welfare service delivery; the retention of staff; and the outcomes achieved by children, youth, and families have also resulted in a greater emphasis on effective organizational functioning and the importance of larger systems-level intervention in child welfare Child welfare practice is at a critical period of re-professionalization Driving forces in child welfare services reform include professional education of the workforce, training and effective skill transfer to the field, the implementation of evidence-informed practices, demonstration of measurable outcomes and cost effectiveness, attainment of performance standards, organizational excellence and continuous quality improvement, and the provision of community-based, clientinformed models of service Increased attention has been directed toward supervisory practices and the importance of effective supervision in supporting a workforce challenged by continual exposure to trauma; compliance with a myriad of policy mandates; staff shortages due to worker turnover; position freezes or eliminations; v vi Preface and financing that is inadequate, inflexible, and geared toward institutional forms of care Clearly, the child welfare profession is at a critical juncture Prior models of practice and service delivery; the education, training, supervision, and support provided to the workforce; and the organizational structure and effectiveness of child welfare agencies are being challenged by the demand for outcome measurement, evidence-based practice, and youth- and family-driven policies and services Few practice-oriented books are written for social workers who specialize in child welfare services This volume fills the gap by providing a unique and comprehensive overview of contemporary practice issues relevant to child welfare professionals who are entering the field, as well as those already working in direct service and management positions This book can be used not only by undergraduate and graduate students in social work but also by researchers and practitioners who have an interest in intervention related to child abuse and neglect at the individual, family, community, and organizational level The emphasis is placed upon systemic, integrated, and evidence-driven practices that are in keeping with child welfare’s core mission of child protection, child and family well-being, family support, and permanency for youth Case examples are provided to connect theory with practice and to incorporate the voice and perspective of youth, families, caregivers, and child welfare caseworkers Both challenges and opportunities are addressed within the context of the contemporary practice environment that is increasingly driven by fiscal limitations, the attainment of defined outcomes, and the need for an informed, professionalized child welfare workforce This volume begins with foundational material related to child-serving systems of care by placing child welfare within the spectrum of community-based services and supports for children and youth with or at risk for challenges across a range of life domains In Chap 1, “Child Welfare Practice in a Systems of Care Framework,” Marlo Perry and Rachel Fusco highlight the evolution of an integrated approach to providing services to children and families across categorical systems They focus on the challenges and opportunities unique to the child welfare system in maintaining the core values of a child-centered, community-based, and linguistically and culturally competent approach to care that includes partnership with families This theme of partnership and inclusion is taken up by Fusco and Mary Elizabeth Rauktis in Chap 2, “They Brought Me in Like I Was Their Own Kid: Youth and Caregiver Perceptions of Out-of-Home Care.” The authors provide powerful, firsthand accounts from parents and children who have experienced separation and loss as result of out-of-home care, prompting social workers and other helping professionals to recognize that home and family are critical to one’s identity Fusco and Rauktis remind us that when placement is unavoidable, we must ensure that youth and their families are being nurtured, supported, and connected In keeping with an increased emphasis on strengths-based and family-centered approaches to care, the child welfare field has become more focused on effective engagement strategies In Chap 3, “Family Engagement Strategies in Child Welfare Practice,” Helen Cahalane and Carol Anderson focus on the unique opportunity for engaging with families in a partnership focused on solutions and change, despite the involuntary nature of involvement with the child welfare system Practical Preface vii engagement strategies are provided for child welfare professionals who are faced with the complex task of forming a therapeutic relationship that will help families make difficult changes The origin, theoretical base, key elements, method of delivery, and evidence base of two models of child welfare intervention, Family Group Decision Making and Family Finding, are summarized to illustrate practices that effectively engage youth and families by facilitating connections between children and their family network Transformation of the child welfare system from one of legal authority over youth and families to one of partnership and collaborative decision making is further examined by exploring best practices related to establishing permanency and the successful transition of youth to adulthood Caroline Donohue, Cynthia BradleyKing and Helen Cahalane tackle the various forms that permanency may take for children and youth receiving child welfare services in Chap 4, “Permanency.” They consider options involving biological family members, relatives, fictive kin, adoptive families, and/or long-term foster families While recognizing that reunification, legal guardianship, and adoption all provide opportunities for a long-term sense of connectedness, Donohue, Bradley-King and Cahalane argue that no placement, service, or effort at larger scale community building can thrive in the absence of a committed federal effort to reorganize child welfare financing In Chap 5, “Transitioning into Adulthood: Promoting Youth Engagement, Empowerment, and Interdependence Through Teaming Practices,” Rauktis, Ben Kerman, and Chereese Phillips provide a synthesis of family and youth teaming models They describe the important leadership role of youth and the essential need for a supporting cast of family members as young persons transition into adulthood, using the case illustration of a story not unusual among the 254,162 children who entered foster care in 2012 Highlighting the growing evidence that suggests that family and youth teaming practices such as Family Group Decision Making, Team Decision Making, and Lifelong Family Connections offer a variety of options for building secure interdependence for youth and a lasting support network to draw on in the future, Rauktis, Kerman, and Phillips illustrate the ways in which teaming practices that respect youth voice, promote emerging autonomy, and engage a broad support system represent a needed step beyond traditional life skills curricula, which focus on transitioning youth in isolation Child welfare systems must be equipped with a competent workforce that is capable and ready for the difficult work of child protection The effectiveness of child welfare services is dependent in large part upon the skills and acumen of the caseworkers who work with youth and families Chapters and provide cuttingedge information to build cultural competence and cultural humility with specific youth populations receiving child protective services Elizabeth Winter elucidates the elevated risks to the safety, well-being, and permanency of sexual minority youth in Chap 6, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, and Queer Youth: The Challenge for Child Welfare.” She begins with the definitions of each of the LGBTQ groups and then presents a thorough and comprehensive review of the relevant literature to highlight particular challenges experienced by LGBTQ youth both generally and in the child welfare system Winter then explores the myths, viii Preface misperceptions, and facts of LGBTQ culture in child welfare and discusses the need for an LGBTQ-inclusive organizational culture within the child welfare system In Chap 7, “Race, Disparity, and Culture in Child Welfare,” Bradley-King, Perry, and Donohue survey the empirical literature and emphasize the central issue of racial disproportionality in child welfare They begin by reviewing relevant terms and providing an overview of racial demographics in the USA and in the child welfare system, then provide a historical context, and finally, review different positions in a debate about disproportionality The authors conclude with a discussion of cultural competence and cultural humility, calling upon caseworkers to thoughtfully consider how race and culture intersect with social and economic risk factors that contribute to child welfare outcomes Professional development of the child welfare workforce is discussed by Anita Barbee and Marcia Martin in their overview of the knowledge and skills a child welfare worker must possess In Chap 8, “Skill-Based Training and Transfer of Learning,” these seasoned and experienced child welfare academicians and researchers recognize the critical importance of preparing the child welfare workforce to address the complexities of achieving safety, permanency, and well-being for children and families who present with multiple needs and a host of challenges involving concrete resources, social support, and personal autonomy Barbee and Martin point out that classroom training builds a foundation that must be reinforced in the field through coaching, mentoring, and specific feedback on key practice behaviors They also elucidate the fact that simply possessing knowledge and skills is insufficient; child welfare workers must be able to translate a sense of knowing and doing into distinct situations by transferring learning as they engage with each new client and each new situation Child welfare work is extraordinarily rewarding and full of opportunities to make a critical difference in the lives of children and families With this also comes the difficulty of dealing with the stressful aspects of the job and exposure to the details of the suffering of maltreated children and their families Added to the mix for both individuals and organizations are environmental stressors, such as a lack of understanding of the work of child welfare and the ambivalence of a society that recognizes the need to safeguard vulnerable children on one hand while also viewing child welfare intervention with suspicion and mistrust In Chap 9, “Stress and Child Welfare Work,” Winter describes the individual and organizational exposure to traumatic events that is an ongoing reality in child protective services She details the significant distress that can affect individuals, their quality of work, and the atmosphere within child welfare organizations and provides an overview of suggested ways that agencies, administrators, supervisors, and caseworkers can work toward self-care within a trauma-informed culture Likewise, supervision is an important factor in creating an agency culture that is responsive and attuned to the needs of child welfare workers A number of studies have confirmed that supervision not only is critical for worker satisfaction and retention but also has an impact on the quality and outcomes of services provided to children and families Rauktis and Tammy Thomas address the challenge of keeping committed, compassionate, and well-educated workers in the field of child protection in Chap 10, “Reflective Preface ix Practices in Supervision: Why Thinking and Reflecting Are as Important as Doing.” Using examples from a qualitative study of caseworker decision making, they describe reflective supervision and other reflective practices that offer the potential to move child welfare work beyond a narrow focus on investigation of abuse and compliance with procedural mandates Rauktis and Thomas propose that reflective supervision practices help workers manage the stressful nature of child welfare work by providing a space to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings Thus, child welfare practice can move to a point where thinking, problem solving, and exploring emotions are part of standard practice, ultimately improving the decisions that are made when working with children and families Child welfare practice occurs within the context of dynamic, multifaceted organizational systems that are ripe with opportunities to positively impact children, families, and the professionals who dedicate their careers to improving the lives of young persons As with all complex, hierarchical social structures, child welfare agencies can vary in performance and efficiency In Chap 11, “Organizational Effectiveness Strategies for Child Welfare,” Phil Basso, Helen Cahalane, Jon Rubin, and Kathy Jones Kelley describe a practice model for enhancing agency functioning, capacity, and ability to meet client outcomes Drawing on applied work in organizational development, performance management, quality improvement, organizational learning, and leadership, the authors delineate a set of key strategies for helping child welfare agencies leverage their strengths, address performance gaps, and continuously improve across all areas of work The parallels between intervention with individuals, groups, families, and communities and the process of organizational effectiveness within child welfare agencies are highlighted through the use of case examples that illustrate both micro and macro practice Megan Good, Erin Dalton, and Marc Cherna demonstrate the critical connection between casework practice and organizational performance in Chap 12, “Managing for Outcomes in Child Welfare.” These authors provide social workers with a greater understanding of how performance is measured and monitored in child welfare, first describing the process of federal accountability and then discussing the principles necessary to implement continuous quality improvement within a child welfare framework A case study demonstrates that performance tools and data serve a purpose beyond simply reporting and monitoring Good, Dalton, and Cherna argue that agencies with cultures that embrace continuous quality improvement and feedback from all levels of the organization are those most able to utilize information to their advantage in improving the lives of children and families In sum, this volume is designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and competence of social workers who practice in the field of child welfare Given the enormous responsibility for protecting children, supporting families, and assuring permanency for youth, the authors hope that this volume contributes to increased knowledge and effectiveness in child welfare practice, a field described as one of the toughest jobs you will ever love Pittsburgh, PA, USA Helen Cahalane 304 M Good et al However, through appropriate framing and use, outcome and process information can be used to help caseworkers, supervisors, and administrators alike work towards common goals Individuals working in the child welfare field want to perform well and improve the experiences of those they serve If data related to outcomes and processes are used to help staff members improve their efficiency and the results of their efforts, they may embrace the tools and methods more readily (Casey Family Programs and NCWRCOI 2005) Communication patterns are very important: caseworkers perceive supervisor support as critical to their work, and the nature of the relationship they seek is one in which the supervisor serves in a consultative rather than a monitoring role (Wells 2006) Data can be used as an effective tool to facilitate such a relationship Provide All Workers Access to Information As demands for accountability increase, so the demands on agencies to have higher quality data and greater amounts of it Agencies consistently rely on frontline staff to provide more information, whether on paper or in an information system Caseworkers often feel that they are entering this information and filling out paperwork for no apparent reason (Wells 2006); this is caused by a lack of communication with them about who is using the information, how it is used, and why it is important, and often results in poorer data quality In reality, this information is often used extensively, but by the limited number of people—usually administrators—who have access to it in a useable format Much outcome and process information could be useful to caseworkers and supervisors themselves In a growing trend, states and localities are now implementing information management systems that improve the access frontline workers and managers have to this information—both by granting them greater access to the information and by presenting it in an easy-to-use manner Such access is critical to data quality and staff engagement, since it allows staff to see information that is useful to them, see what they are being held accountable for, and better understand the link between their work, data entry, and outcome monitoring (Casey Family Programs and NCWRCOI 2005; Center for Study of Social Policy 2003; O’Brian and Watson 2002; NCWRCOI 2007) Review Progress Regularly The regular review of progress is key to both managing culture change and sustaining CQI efforts until they become fully integrated into the work process (Casey Family Programs and NCWRCOI 2005; Wells 2006) The nature of the information being reviewed regularly will vary by job function, but it is the continuous use of updated information that will help frontline staff and administrators use information proactively to inform their work and quickly identify areas for improvement 12 Managing for Outcomes in Child Welfare 305 Case Example: Timeliness to Permanency Parsley County contains a metropolitan center with surrounding suburban communities and is located in a state with a county-administered child welfare system Two years ago, Parsley County Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) secured funding for technical assistance to develop a CQI process An internal CQI group, consisting of staff at all levels of the child welfare agency, was established as part of that process Each year, the group selects one specific practice area on which to focus its efforts This year, members of the group suggested concentrating on improving timeliness to permanency for youth who have been in care for an extended period of time This decision was informed by reviewing the agency’s performance according to federal outcomes and discussing anecdotal knowledge of their child welfare system One indicator on which Parsley County performed poorly was the following federal CFSR measure: C3.1: Of all children who were in foster care for 24 months or longer on the first day of the target year, what percent were discharged to reunification, relative care, guardianship, or adoption prior to their eighteenth birthday by the end of the target year? While the county agency’s performance was similar to that of other counties and the state through 2009, local performance declined and plateaued over the following years while it was improving among comparable populations Figure A shows Parsley County aggregate numbers for all similar size counties in the state and the statewide numbers for permanent exits from care To begin to understand why the county’s trends were not keeping pace with other localities, analysts reviewed the data more closely Figures B and C below provide some additional information used in taking a closer look at Parsley County’s youth in care The data showed that one of the potential causes for the stagnation in exits to permanency in Parsley County was the sharp increase in youth in kinship care as a proportion of youth in care (Fig B) In fact, there was very little change in the percentage of youth exiting to permanency over the previous few years by care type (Fig C) Rather, the shift towards a placement type where legal permanency took longer to achieve made it appear as though exits to permanency for these youth had decreased.The shift towards kinship care was celebrated as a positive outcome for these youth Nevertheless, the team agreed that timely permanence Fig A Long stayers with permanent exit by end of target year 306 M Good et al Fig B Long stayers on first day of target year, by care type Fig C Long stayers with permanent exit by end of target year, by care type for all youth is critical Recognizing that making a systemic impact on permanency outcomes for youth in care for long periods of time would require long-term commitment, a team member recommended assembling a permanency roundtable, as other child welfare agencies had recently formed Permanency roundtables are forums for dedicated professionals to engage in ongoing, structured case consultation designed to expedite permanency for youth in care through creative thinking, use of best practices, and breaking down systemic barriers (Casey Family Programs 2012; National Conference of State Legislatures 2010) The CQI team partnered with DCFS leadership to form a roundtable that included key stakeholders The CQI team committed to support the department’s efforts and charged the stakeholders to focus the first phase of their work on permanency for long stayers in kinship care In collaboration with roundtable members, the CQI team collected more data to inform their efforts by investigating if there had been any units in the organization or service providers with greater success than others They also began to identify the particular barriers to permanency for youth in kinship care 12 Managing for Outcomes in Child Welfare 307 Organizational Variance DCFS has three regional offices and holds contracts with several community providers to provide out-of-home care for children Analysis of patterns of exits to permanency for youth in care for over 24 months revealed that the rates were fairly consistent across regions and across providers; there were also no significant differences in the populations served Therefore, the lack of variance implies that the barriers to permanency are systemic and are not specific to service providers Qualitative Analysis Caseworkers and supervisors serving youth in kinship care for 24 months or longer completed a survey to provide specific information on the challenges to achieving permanency in these cases The survey results revealed that the kinship care cases are difficult to move to permanency because reunification is not in the best interests of the child, there is hesitancy to move towards adoption or legal custodianship because it could cause tension within the family, and child welfare staff not push these cases because the child is safe and living with family members These findings were not novel and reaffirmed the assertions of CQI team members However, a significant finding did emerge from the survey: several casework staff expressed concern that children remained system-involved significantly longer than necessary and that agency policies did not provide adequate solutions for providing these youth with the family permanency they needed by allowing for child welfare involvement to end without formal legal permanency The permanency roundtable immediately responded by prioritizing case reviews for these cases Operational Data Simultaneous to the case reviews, the roundtable worked to develop reports that would assist staff members in their efforts to move children to permanency The first report was designed as a monthly report for supervisors, to help guide their supervision and consultation with their caseworkers The report lists youth who are in stable placements with kin, defined as living with the same person for years or longer The report includes other pertinent case details, such as permanency goals and progress towards achieving them Additionally, a second report was developed to track key information for all youth in care for years or longer Initially, the reports were used by supervisors to lead case reviews with teams of caseworkers and supervisors to discuss how to move these youth to permanency Within months, staff at all levels of the agency began to review the reports regularly Now, after year, DCFS has processes in place to assist casework staff in their planning for permanency, continually provide recommendations for action on specific cases, and address systemic barriers In its early stages, the permanency roundtable has identified areas for collaboration between child welfare leadership, policy experts, and family court judges as they work to safely remove barriers to permanency for youth These stakeholders will continue to meet and use the information available to them to improve outcomes for children in their care 308 M Good et al Conclusion Child welfare services demand accountability, and in an increasingly data-driven environment, staff of child welfare agencies are being held accountable to outcomebased performance more than ever Performance tools and data serve a purpose beyond just reporting and monitoring Data can be used to inform and improve practice, with the ultimate result of improving outcomes for children Agencies with cultures that embrace continuous improvement and feedback from all levels of the organization will be most able to utilize information to their advantage and respond to changes in their environment Questions for Discussion Improvement on one outcome may correspond with poorer performance on another Discuss two or three examples of when this might occur and what this means for performance management Give an example of a performance measure for which a point-in-time sample may be a more appropriate population to examine than an entry or exit cohort Imagine you are a caseworker Discuss a concern you may have about your performance being monitored How would some of the principles of performance management address this concern? Choose an outcome and identify four data-driven methods you could use to measure, better understand, and/or improve performance on that outcome What else might Parsley County to increase permanency outcomes of children in care for longer than 24 months? References Administration for Children and Families (2007) Child and Family Services Reviews Summary of Findings Form Retrieved from guide/sumfinding.htm Administration for Children and Families (2011) Children’s Bureau Federal Child and Family Services Reviews Aggregate Report Round Fiscal Years 2007–2010 Retrieved from http:// Administration for Children and Families (n.d.) General findings from the Child and Family Services Reviews, 2001–2004 U.S Department of Health and Human Services Retrieved from: Administration for Children and Families (n.d.) Child and Family Services Reviews fact sheet Retrieved from American Public Human Services Association (2008) DAPIM™: An approach to systematic continuous improvement Washington, DC: Author Available at American Public Human Services Association (2011) Organizational effectiveness handbook Washington, DC: Author Available at 12 Managing for Outcomes in Child Welfare 309 Barbee, A P., Christensen, D., Antle, B., Wandersman, A., & Cahn, K (2011) Successful adoption and implementation of a comprehensive casework practice model in a public child welfare agency: Application of a Getting to Outcomes (GTO) model Children and Youth Services Review, 33(11), 622–633 Casey Family Programs (2012) Permanency roundtables Retrieved from: Resources/Initiatives/PermanencyRoundtables/ Casey Family Programs & National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (2005 May 17) Using Continuous Quality Improvement to improve child welfare practice: A framework for implementation [notes from expert meeting] Retrieved from Center for State Foster Care and Adoption Data (2010 April 29–30) Longitudinal data analysis using administrative data [seminar] Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago Chicago, IL Center for the Study of Social Policy (2003) Quality Service Reviews: A tool for supervision Safekeeping Retrieved from Collins-Camargo, C., Sullivan, D., & Murphy, A (2011) Use of data to assess performance and promote outcome achievement by public and private child welfare agency staff Children and Youth Services Review, 33(2), 330–339 Engel, R J., & Schutt, R K (2013) The practice of research in social work (3rd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Morris-Compton, S., Noonan, K., Notkin, S., Morrison, S., Raimon, M., Torres, D (2011) Counting is not enough: Investing in qualitative case reviews for practice improvement in child welfare Retrieved from Other/CountingisNotEnoughInvestinginQualitativeCaseReviews/QCR_vFINAL_R9.pdf National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (2007) Strengthening child welfare supervision Child Welfare Matters Retrieved from http://muskie.usm.maine edu/helpkids/rcpdfs/cwmatters6.pdf National Conference of State Legislatures (2006, September) Child welfare caseworker visits with children and parents Retrieved from: National Conference of State Legislatures (2010, August) Permanency roundtables Retrieved from: O’Brian, M., Watson, P (2002) A framework for quality assurance in child welfare Retrieved from Positioning Public Child Welfare Guidance (2011) Key processes: The Continuous Improvement (CI) Process Retrieved from Tilbury, C (2007) Shaping child welfare policy via performance measurement Child Welfare, 86(6), 115–135 U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children, Youth and Families (2012, January) Title IV-B, Subpart of the Social Security Act as revised by the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act, P.L 112–34, ACYF-CB-PI-12-01 Wells, R (2006) Managing child welfare agencies: What we know about what works? Children and Youth Services Review, 28(10), 1181–1194 Wells, S J., & Johnson, M A (2001) Selecting outcome measures for child welfare settings: Lessons for use in performance management Children and Youth Services Review, 23(2), 169–199 Wulczyn, F (2007) Monitoring child welfare programs: Performance improvement in a CQI context Retrieved from Chapter 13 Conclusions and Future Directions Helen Cahalane Abstract Social workers who practice in child welfare must be confident, committed and courageous They must possess a shared sense of values that emphasize service, honesty, accountability, respect, engagement, and diversity They must be proficient in engaging youth and families in a helping relationship, have knowledge of diverse client populations, and utilize evidence-informed interventions and approaches that help to reach across cultural divides caused by differences in race, class, culture, and sexual orientation Child welfare organizations have their own set of imperatives: establishing visionary and committed leadership, supporting middle managers and supervisors, assuring that reflective, trauma-informed supervision and oversight is provided to caseworkers, and creating agency performance standards that are transparent, clear, and used to drive positive system change Future directions for child welfare practice should include a focus on the following key areas: integration among child-serving systems of care; establishing welldefined practice models; developing training and transfer of learning programs that build bridges between knowing and dong; incorporating evidence-driven interventions as standard practice; promoting inclusive practices; including the voice and perspective of youth and families in service delivery and evaluation; assuring that middle managers are proficient in reflective, trauma-informed supervision practices; supporting child welfare organizations in implementing continuous quality improvement initiatives; using data to inform practice; and demonstrating the impact and cost-effectiveness of interventions delivered in the community Social workers are in a unique position to contribute to the quality and effectiveness of the child welfare system as caseworkers, supervisors, middle managers and agency leaders Keywords Systems of care • Practice models • Leadership • Supervision H Cahalane (*) Child Welfare Education and Research Programs, School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA e-mail: H Cahalane (ed.), Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare Practice, Contemporary Social Work Practice, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-8627-5_13, © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013 311 312 H Cahalane The contributing authors of this volume have summarized a wide range of literature on child welfare practice and integrated a realistic perspective of the field informed by direct work with children, families, and organizations While broad in scope, the compilation of topics contained here is by no means inclusive of the entire range of practice imperatives in child welfare Attempting to offer concluding remarks to a volume focused on a field as diverse as child welfare is akin to trying to summarize the myriad roles a social worker can assume in contemporary society Overall summary comments are complicated at best and are inadequate in capturing the work of the many talented and dedicated professionals who contributed to this volume Nonetheless, there are some primary goals and values that we can identify as being essential to child welfare work Social workers who practice in child welfare must be confident, committed, and courageous They must possess a shared sense of values, prizing service, honesty, accountability, respect, engagement, and diversity (PA Child Welfare Resource Center 2012) Given that the child welfare system is charged with serving society’s most vulnerable members, the need for a skilled workforce that is equipped to meet family needs, ensure that children are safe, establish supportive connections, promote permanency, and bolster success in life is no small feat Social workers in child welfare must understand and help to integrate the array of child-serving systems, must consider both youth and caregiver perception and voice, and must be knowledgeable about the policies and practices that promote permanent options for youth They must be able to engage families in a helping relationship by sharing power and avoiding coercive and adversarial encounters Social workers practicing in child welfare must have knowledge of diverse client populations and of the evidence-informed interventions and approaches that help to reach across cultural divides caused by differences in race, class, culture, gender, and sexual orientation Training, transfer of learning to the field, and the effective application of knowledge and skill within the context of distinct situations are critical in meeting the demand for competence in child welfare practice Social workers must address the stress and trauma, both primary and secondary, that accompany child welfare work, by practicing self-care and contributing to an organizational culture that is trauma informed and supportive Supervision is a key factor in determining whether child welfare workers balance the rewards and the challenges of their work or are discouraged from doing so At the agency level, effective functioning requires a commitment across all levels of the organization to engage in continuous quality improvement and change strategies In an increasingly data-driven environment, child welfare agencies must use both process and outcome evidence for decision making, as well as for demonstrating that the services they provide to children and families make a difference in these clients’ lives and are connected to observable life outcomes Child welfare organizations have their own set of imperatives: establishing visionary and committed leadership; supporting middle managers and supervisors who are empowered to make change and who assure that reflective, trauma-informed supervision and oversight is provided to caseworkers on the front lines of child welfare; and creating agency performance standards that are transparent, clear, and 13 Conclusions and Future Directions 313 used to drive positive system change Most importantly, child welfare finance reform is desperately needed in order to direct resources toward early intervention, services that maintain the bonds of connection between children and families whenever possible, and community solutions for assuring the safety and well-being of all youth and their caregivers In summary, future directions for child welfare practice should include a focus on the following areas: Integrating child welfare among the child-serving systems of care, recognizing that the children, youth, and families receiving child welfare services have a high likelihood of involvement in other human service systems and that crosssystems integration is one way to help a fragmented and troubled family begin to find common ground Establishing well-defined practice models that embrace core features of effective engagement, partnership, solution building, and motivation for change Developing training and transfer of learning programs that are about building bridges between knowing and doing, making social workers translators as they engage in understanding, challenging, and supporting the difficult changes youth, families, and workers themselves must make Incorporating evidence-informed and evidence-based interventions as standard practice in child welfare systems, implementing them to fidelity, and adding to the evidence base by evaluating whether these interventions are effective at the child, family, and organizational level Promoting practices that are inclusive of differences in race, class, culture, gender, spiritual belief, and sexual orientation among clients and social workers, and among other professionals who deliver and oversee child welfare services, such as agencies, courts, public and private providers, advocacy organizations, and family support programs Including the voice and perspective of youth and families in shaping, defining, and evaluating services that are centered on permanence for youth, support for families and providing protection for children without sacrificing familial connections Assuring that middle managers and direct supervisors are proficient in reflective supervision practices that are supportive and trauma informed, and not primarily focused on the completion of task assignments and compliance with policy requirements Supporting child welfare organizations and agency leaders in implementing continuous quality improvement initiatives that are inclusive of all levels of the organization and directed toward establishing a culture of learning and change Using data to inform practice and challenge assumptions of what works and what does not, for whom, when, and under what conditions 10 Demonstrating the impact, outcomes for children and families, and costeffectiveness of community-based interventions delivered by social workers in child welfare settings 314 H Cahalane Practicing in child welfare is challenging, rewarding, and full of opportunities to impact the lives of children and families It comes with tremendous responsibility and requires a skill set that includes critical thinking, a systemic perspective, and the compassion and courage to help vulnerable youth and families make life-determining decisions Child welfare practice is not for the faint of heart, and those who dedicate themselves to careers in this field must be prepared to deal with the stressful aspects inherent in the work Social workers are in a unique position to contribute to the quality and effectiveness of the child welfare system, whether as caseworkers on the front lines of service, as supervisors and middle managers, or as agency leaders The recommendations provided here only begin to touch the surface of this multifaceted and specialized area of social work practice Reference PA Child Welfare Resource Center (2012) About CWRC Child Welfare Education and Research Programs, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work Retrieved from http://www.pacwrc Index A Abramson-Madden, A., 116 Adams, G.A., 218 Adoption, 79, 84, 85, 88–93, 97 Advanced cultural competence, 142, 143 Ainsworth, M.D.S., 59 Akin, B.A., 87 Albers, E., 31 Allen, T., 61 Anderson, C.M., 39–67 Andreski, P., 216, 217 Andrews, B., 217 Argyris, C., 187 Arnett, J.J., 106, 107 Attachment, 59, 60, 62, 63 Attachment disruption, 80 Avery, R.J., 106 B Baldwin, T.T., 188 Barbee, A.P., 183–202 Barn, R., 57 Barriers to engagement, 42, 45, 46, 50, 51 Barth, R.P., 79, 106, 113, 170, 173 Basic cultural competence, 142, 143 Basso, P., 257–283 Bates, R.A., 188 Bazron, B.J., 142 Bisexual, 127–154 Bitonti, C., 31 Blau, G.M., Blum, R., 134 Boel-Studt, S., 65 Bolton, F.G., 82 Bowlby, J., 59 Bradley-King, C., 75–97, 159–176 Breslau, N., 216, 217 Brewin, C.R., 217 Broad, M.L., 188, 189 Bromet, E., 214 Bronfenbrenner, U., Buckley, H., 40 Buka, S.L., 214, 215 Burford, G., 53, 57 Burnout, 208–211, 213, 221, 227, 230 Burns, B.J., 170, 173 C Cahalane, H., 39–67, 75-97, 257–283, 311–314 Calhoun, L.G., 209 Campbell, K., 61–63, 65 Caringi, J., 222 Carp, E.W., 161 Carr, N., 40 Casanueva, C., 172 Case analysis, 253 Catherall, D.R., 213, 218 Cherna, M., 289–308 Chilcoat, H.D., 216 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP), Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), 7, 8, 291, 292, 294 Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act, 52 Chintapalli, L.K., 79 Chyen, D., 136 Clark, M.D., 31 H Cahalane (ed.), Contemporary Issues in Child Welfare Practice, Contemporary Social Work Practice, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-8627-5, © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013 315 316 Cleaver, H., 236 Coben, J.H., 172 Compassion fatigue, 209, 213, 221, 227 Compassion satisfaction, 208, 209, 221, 227, 230 Comstock, A., 228 Connolly, M., 57 Contact-comfort, 76, 77 Continuous improvement team, 269, 271 Continuous quality improvement (CQI), 259, 261–262, 265, 271, 276, 277, 290, 300–307 Corcoran, C.B., 216 Courtney, M.E., 19, 30, 79, 106 CQI See Continuous quality improvement (CQI) Crampton, D.S., 57, 111, 116 Crea, T.M., 116 Cree, V.E., 46 Critical Thinking, 267, 268, 314 Cross, T.L., 142 Cultural and linguistic competence, 4, 6–7 Cultural blindness, 142, 143 Cultural competence, 131–132, 140–143, 153, 160, 174, 176 Cultural destructiveness, 142 Cultural humility, 160, 174–176 Cultural incapacity, 142 Cultural pre-competence, 142, 143 Cultural sensitivity, 49 Curry, D., 259 Cusick, G., 106 D Dalton, E., 289–308 Dance, C., 90 DAPIM™, 274–280, 282, 283 Darlington, Y., 246, 252–254 Das, C., 57 Dausey, D.J., 251, 253 Davis, G.C., 216, 217 Decker, M.D., 262 Dennis, K.W., 142 DePanfilis, D., 106 Devine, L., 111 Dewey, J., 267 Deykin, E.Y., 214, 215 Diaz, R.M., 134 Dickinson, N., 228 Dietz, L.J., 135 Diligent search strategies, 59 Disparity, 159–176 Disproportionality, 160–161, 164–169, 175, 176 Index Domestic violence (interpersonal violence), 19 Donkoh, C., 106 Donohue, C., 75–97, 159–176 Drake, B., 165 Dworksky, A., 106 E Elze, D., 143 Emerging adulthood, 106 Empowerment, 101–122, 264, 271, 280, 281, 283 Entry cohort, 297 Epstein, W.M., 95, 96 Estrada, R., 153 Everly, G.S., 228 Evidence-informed practices, Exit cohort, 297, 308 Experiential learning, 264, 273 F Fairbank, J.A., 218 Family engagement, 5, 7, 39–67 Family finding, 51, 53, 58–67 Family group decision making (FGDM), 5, 8–9, 51–58, 67, 104, 109–116, 118, 122 Family of origin, 44, 60 Family resource theory, 82 Family support and empowerment, 40 Fanshel, D., 31 Feedback from the environment, 265 Figley, C.R., 213, 218, 221 Ford, J K., 188 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, 52 Freeman, P., 236 French, S., 134 Freundlich, M., 111, 119 Frey, L., 111, 119 Friedman, M.S., 135 Friedman, R.M., Furrer, C., 168 Fusco, R.A., 1–13, 17–35 G Gallagher, M., 46 Gardner, W.P., 172 Gay, 127–154 Gender identity, 128, 131, 132, 135, 137, 139, 141, 142, 148, 149, 153, 154 General systems theory (GST), 260, 261 Gilkerson, L., 238 317 Index Glisson, C., 218, 219, 259 Goodfellow, B., 210 Good, M., 289–308 Goodman, L.A., 216 Grant, J M., 134, 135 Green, B.L., 168, 216 Greenblatt, S., 111, 119 Gregoire, K.A., 168 Grella, C.E., 168 GST See General systems theory (GST) Gunderson, K., 111 Guo, S., 113 H Harris, D., 216 Harris, W.A., 136 Havlicek, J., 106 Hawkins, R.P., 21 Hazen, A.L., 172 Heimberg, R.G., 134 Henry, D.L., 62, 120 Heteronormativity, 132 Heterosexism, 128, 132, 133 High fidelity wraparound, 11 Holden, J.C., 260 Holden, M.J, 260 Holton, E.F., 188 Homophobia, 128, 132, 133 Horwitz, M.J., 216–218, 224 Hser, Y.I., 168 Huebner, D., 134 Hughes, M., 214 Hunter, S., 46 Huse, E.F., 259 I Independence, 28, 29 Independent living, 104–106, 113–115, 117 Indicator, 291, 292, 295–297, 305 Input, 260, 265, 266, 268, 270, 271, 273, 276 Interdependent living, 104 Intergenerational patterns, 43 Involuntary relationships, 41, 42 Isaacs, M.R., 142 Isolation, 81 J Jackson, J.C., 259 Jonson-Reid, M., 165 Joseph, S., 209, 210 K Kann, L., 136 Kast, F.E ., 260 Keane, T.M., 218 Kelleher, K.J., 172 Keller, T., 106 Kelley, K.J., 257–283 Kerman, B., 101–122 Kessler, R.C., 170, 214–217 Kettner, P.M., 260 Kilmer, R.P., 210 Kinchen, S., 136 King, D.W., 218 King, L.A., 218 Kinship care, 21 Koeske, G.F., 211 Koeske, R.D., 211 Kohl, P.L., 172 Kolb, D.A., 264 Koller, R.G v., 142 Krupnick, J.L., 216 L Landsman, M.D., 65 Lane, M., 170 Learning circle, 263 Legal guardianship, 79, 84, 85, 88, 89, 91–93, 97 Lesbian, 127–154 Leuschner, K.J., 251, 253 Level three evaluation, 186 Lewin, K., 261, 264 Lewis, M.W., 251, 253, 262, 264 Libby, A.M., 170 Lietz, C.A., 278 Lifelong family connections (LFC), 104, 109–112, 118–122 Linley, P.A., 210 Louderman, R., 169 Lyons, S.J., 19, 30 M MacIan, P., 216 Majd, K., 142 Mallon, G.P., 41, 130, 136, 137 Malm, K., 61 Maltreatment, 19, 33 Maluccio, A., 106 Marcenko, M.O., 19, 30 Marguiles, N., 259 Marksamer, J., 142 Marsh, J.C., 169 Marshal, M P., 135 Martin, M.L., 183–202 318 Martin, S.L., 172 Mary, N.L., 261 Maza, P.J., 107 McAllister, C., 238, 245 McCann, I L., 212, 213 McCrae, J.S., 20 McGeehan, J., 172 McGinley, J., 135 McHaelen, R., 143 McManus, T., 136 McMurtry, S.L., 260 Mental illness, 18, 19, 33 Microaggressions, 45 Minority group, 160–161, 166–168, 171, 173, 174 Mitchell, J.T., 228 Montgomery, P., 106 Morris, K., 57 Mottet, L.A., 134, 135 Multidimensional treatment foster care, 10 Multisystemic therapy, 9, 13 N Needell, B., 168 Nelson, C.B., 214, 251, 253 Nelson-Gardell, D., 216 Netting, F.E., 260 NewHeart, F., 106 Newhill, C.E., 215 Newstrom, J.M., 188, 189 O Olfson, M., 170 Olsen, E.O., 136 Operational data, 299, 300, 307 Organizational effectiveness, 257–283 Organizational learning, 259, 263, 274–275 Organizational readiness for change, 262–263 Ortega, D.M., 106 Orton, H.D., 170 Osmond, J., 245, 246, 252–254 Outcome, 258, 259, 261–263, 265–269, 271, 273, 274, 277, 280–283 Outcome measures, 290, 291, 293, 303 Out-of-home care, 18–28, 30–34 Output, 260, 265, 268, 277, 282 P Parent-child interaction therapy, 9–10 Parent-child visitation, 31 Parker, A., 246, 251, 253 Pearlman, L.A., 212, 213, 216, 221, 222, 225 Index Pecora, P., 106 Pennell, J., 53, 54, 57, 58 Perez, A., 106 Performance actions, 265, 268 Performance capacity, 265, 268 Performance management, 301–304, 308 Permanency, 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 13, 75–97 Perry, M.A., 1–13, 159–176 Peterson, E., 216, 217 Petty, R.M., 216 Phillips, C.M., 101–122 Phillips, S.D., 172–173 Pincus, H.A., 170 Plotnick, R., 106 Point-in-time, 297, 308 Pomeroy, A., 251, 253 Posttraumatic growth, 208–210, 230 Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 208, 210, 212–217, 219, 220, 223, 229 Poverty, 20 Pre-placement meeting, 244 Primary traumatic stress, 208, 212–213 Priming effect, 251 Process measures, 290, 292, 293, 303 Propp, J., 106 Protective factors, 208, 210, 217–219 Pryce, D.H., 217 Pryce, J.G., 217 PTSD See Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Q Qualitative research, 297–299 Quantitative research, 299 Questioning, 127–154 R Raia, A.P, 259 Rauktis, M.E., 17–35, 101–122, 235–255 Reflective supervision, 235–254, 313 Reflective thinking, 267, 268, 270, 273, 282 Remafedi, G., 134 Rennison, C.M., 171 Resilience, 210 Resnick, M D., 134 Restrictiveness, 20, 21 Reunification, 77, 82, 84, 86, 87, 89, 92, 93, 97 Reyes, C., 142 Rideout, P., 111 Rockhill, A., 91–93, 168 Rosenzweig, J.E., 260 Rubin, J., 257–283 Runyan, D.K., 172 Ruona, W.E.A., 188 319 Index Rushton, A., 90 Ryan, C., 134 Ryan, J.P., 169 Rycraft, J.R., 236 S Saakvitne, K W., 213, 221, 222, 223 Safety, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13 Safren, S.A., 134 Sanchez, J., 134 Sapolsky, R.M., 80, 81 Sawyerr, A., 57 Schon, D., 187 Schultz, D.J., 168 Secondary traumatic stress, 50, 207, 208, 212–214, 230 Selekman, M.D., 278 Shackleford, K.H., 217 Shelton, S.R., 251, 253 Shi, Y., 168 Shinn, E., 31 Skill-based training, 183–202 Smith, H.A., 135 Smith, M., 46 SOC See Systems of care (SOC) Social work supervision, 312, 313 Solution-oriented approaches, 40 Sommer, S., 152 Sonnega, A., 214 Spicer, P., 170 Stall, R., 135 Stamm, B.H., 209, 221 Stern, N., 216 Stewart, J., 46 Stockton, P., 216 Story, M., 134 Strategy, 265, 266, 268, 270, 278, 282, 283 Strengths-based, family centered perspective, 48, 51, 53, 63, 66 Stress, 205–230 Stressor-related risk factor, 214 Stroul, B.A., 3, Subsidized legal guardianship, 79, 85, 89, 92, 93 Substance abuse, 19, 33 Systems of care (SOC), 1–13 T Tanis, D., 134, 135 Team decision making (TDM), 104, 109–112, 115–118, 122 Tedeschi, R.G., 209, 210 Termination of parental rights, 91 Terr, L.C., 215 Testa, M.F., 169 Therapeutic alliance, 40 Think-aloud, 254 Thinking short cuts, 240, 251 Thoennes, N., 171 Thomas, M.L., 260 Thomas, T.L., 235–255 3-5-7, 62, 120 Tjaden, P., 171 Transfer of learning, 183–202 Transgendered, 127–154 Transphobia, 132 Trauma and loss, 41 Trauma blindness, 225 Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, 10–11 U Ullman, S.E., 217 Underhill, K., 106 Usher, C., 116 V Valentine, J.D., 217 Velen, M., 111 Vicarious traumatization, 213, 221 von Bertalanffy, L., 260 W Wagner, H.R., 173 Walsh, F., 210 Wang, P.S., 170 Wang, Y., 172 Watzlawick, P., 48 Webb, M., 170 Wechsler, H., 136 Weigenberg, E.C., 113 Welchans, S., 171 Well-being, 2, 4, 7, 8, 13 Wells, K.B., 170 Wexler, S., 215 Whelan, S., 40 White, M., 31 Whittaker, J., 106 Wildfire, J., 111, 207 Wilkinson, H., 46 Winter, E.A., 127–154, 205–230 Wood, P.A., 170 Woodward, C., 209 Woronoff, R., 153 Wosu, H., 46 Z Zimmerman, M.A., 264 ... building can thrive in the absence of a committed federal effort to reorganize child welfare financing In Chap 5, “Transitioning into Adulthood: Promoting Youth Engagement, Empowerment, and Interdependence... disproportionality in child welfare They begin by reviewing relevant terms and providing an overview of racial demographics in the USA and in the child welfare system, then provide a historical context, and finally,... nature of child welfare work by providing a space to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings Thus, child welfare practice can move to a point where thinking, problem solving, and exploring emotions
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